Honorary Degree Citation
Elizabeth Ann Czernicki Quist. Volunteer. Public servant. Patriot. You graduated from Colby with a degree in economics and administrative science, became a Certified Public Accountant, and started your own accounting practice. As a military spouse with a husband deployed in combat, you helped build the Semper Fi Fund and served as its treasurer. From its start-up phase, when your kitchen table doubled as your desk, to its current iteration as a highly respected nonprofit, the Semper Fi Fund has provided more than seventy-five million dollars in grants to injured and ill combat veterans and their families. The funds help servicemen, servicewomen, and those who love them cope with the trauma and upheaval that comes with being wounded in war. Semper Fi volunteers ensure that these brave people are not forgotten. Your own contributions to the cause have also been personal. Even your exposure to the stories gathered by Semper Fi could not have prepared you for the challenge of supporting your own critically injured husband, Captain Erik Quist, through his long and painful recovery. You spent months in military medical centers, not only offering love and strength to Erik but also to the families of other wounded combat veterans. It was not a role you chose, yet in it, you shone. Your sense of civic responsibility only grew in this difficult time. You served on the Occoquan, Virginia, Town Council and are now Occoquan’s vice mayor. Your service to family, community, and country brings honor to America and to your alma mater.
By the authority of the Board of Trustees of Colby College, I confer upon you, Elizabeth Ann Czernicki Quist, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. The hood with which you have been invested and this diploma which I place in your hand are the visible symbols of your membership in this society of scholars, to all the rights and privileges of which I declare you eligible.
Conferred May 26, 2013
More about Liz Czernicki Quist ’98
After a close friend who was a Marine Corps lieutenant was killed in Iraq, Liz Czernicki Quist ’98, with three other Marine Corps spouses, founded the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund to provide financial assistance for those wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. During the time she served as treasurer of the fund, Quist helped the organization raise $10 million and she became a federally licensed tax practitioner. After earning her certified public accountant credentials, she started the firm Quist & Associates, where she focuses on working with clients in the nonprofit sector. Outside of her accounting practice, Quist has served as a councilwoman in Occoquan, Va., since 2010, and she was appointed vice mayor of the town in March 2013.
Commencement 2013 Q&A: The Colby experience, and how a semester abroad and a Jan Plan helped shape her life after Colby.